Yorkshire Wolds Way Day 5 (Part 2): Muston to Filey

Published 12 May 2019

A Yorkshire Wolds Way signpost
A Yorkshire Wolds Way signpost

For 79 miles/127km, the Yorkshire Wolds Way runs from Hessle, near Hull, to Filey. One summer I walked it with a man called Tal, over five days. The fifth, and indeed final day, started with a secret base, an abandoned car, and a multitude of dales. But the afternoon was to be even more enigmatic as we headed to the seaside.

We arrived in Muston, a village decorated with bunting and old bicycles gaily painted in blue and yellow. Such blue and yellow bikes have become a regular feature of the Tour de Yorkshire bike ride. It had all started in 2014 when the Tour de France popped across the channel and visited Yorkshire.  What a good idea, someone thought, and the following year the four day Tour de Yorkshire started.

A blue and yellow painted bike in the village of Muston
A blue and yellow painted bike in the village of Muston

Like the French original, the Tour de Yorkshire changes route every year, and in 2018 it visited Muston. In celebration, the painted bikes had come out.  Although it must be said that the race had been completed some weeks earlier. Presumably the locals had decided to keep their celebrations up for a bit longer.

As well as being home to many bikes, Muston was also the beginning of the home straight. Filey was two miles away and would be where our walk would end. Our path weaved through some more fields before we arrived on the outskirts of this seaside resort.

We walked next to Filey’s high school, where large groups of teenagers were on the playing fields doing PE. The boys were playing softball, the girls doing some sort of variant of rounders. Although rather than play traditional rounders, they were using shuttlecocks and badminton rackets. It looked completely ridiculous. And I stared at it wondering why on earth someone would even come up with this game. Why not play softball like the boys? Perhaps – gasp – you could have the girls and boys play it together! Radical concept I know, especially given softball is a well known co-ed game. But no. For the girls, shuttlecocks it was.

Filey level crossing
The level crossing at Filey

With that ridiculousness whirling round my head, we joined the main road. It would take us past Filey’s train station, through its town centre, and then to the seafront.

There’s something wonderful about finishing a trail at the seaside. It’s a lovely way to end. The sun, the sea, the crowds of people. The ice cream vans and the deckchairs.

It being a warm and sunny day, the seafront was heaving. People were eating chips, children running in the sand. A game or two of crazy golf was being played. Yes, this was a fine place to complete a walk? Perhaps on the promenade, looking out to the North Sea?

The seafront at Filey
The seafront at Filey

Well, no. The Yorkshire Wolds Way had something else in mind. Something even more dramatic. And it was a mile north along the coast path at Filey Brigg.

Jutting out into the sea, this long, narrow peninsular is Filey’s pride and glory. From the promenade, it looms, almost shouting, “come, climb me! The views are great!” Yes the sea front would have been a great place to finish the Yorkshire Wolds Way. But it was obvious that the Brigg was so much better.

We heaved ourselves up the path that ran up to the top of the cliffs, joining a merry throng of people and dogs. Upwards we all went, past a caravan park, and a car park too. A full car park, that suggested the majority of the Brigg’s visitors got there by mechanical means.

We were heading beyond the car park, to the stone sculpture that marks the northern end of the Wolds Way. It was the twin of the one we’d stood next to at the side of the Humber Estuary in Hessle. Only this one didn’t have a bin bag of clothes hidden behind it.

The author sat on the monument at the end of the Yorkshire Wolds Way
Celebrating at the end of the Yorkshire Wolds Way

With a flat area for sitting on, it had been well designed for those ending their walk. Someone had recognised that resting your legs may be in order at this point. And they’d also considered that putting it somewhere with a good view would also be preferable. A place for walkers to sit, relax and enjoy it all as they celebrated their achievement.

We’d made it. Our journey through the Yorkshire Wolds was over.

I’d known nothing of the area before we’d set off. And now I’d had the chance to explore it.

There had been dales. There had been wild flowers. There had been barley. Oh so much barley.

And there had been views. So many excellent views. Had it been worth it? For sure it had.

Now though, the walking was almost over. All we had to do was retrace our steps back to town, and find our B&B. And once there we could celebrate our achievement. A beer or two in one of Filey’s excellent public houses may be imbibed. There was even talk of having a celebratory curry.

But before we moved off the Brigg, I spotted a lone signpost pointing further up the coast and went to look at it.

It turned out that Filey is not only the end of the Yorkshire Wolds Way. It’s also the southern end of another National Trail, the Cleveland Way. The other end of that walk lay many miles away in the Yorkshire market town of Helmsley. To get there would mean more coastline walking, and a traverse across the North York Moors.

“Think you can do another 109 miles?” I asked Tal.

“That’s what? 30 more than what we’ve done. Yeah. I think so. When are we starting it then?”

“Now?”

“Go on then.”

And that was that.

Next time: the epilogue.

Rambling Man Walks The Yorkshire Wolds Way

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